A Changing Relationship
Drinking habits are changing and teetotalism is on the rise. Through education, cultural change and the increased involvement of the state, the last decade has seen well published reports showing a reduction in drinking in the UK. One more recent report from Sheffield University shows that the number of 16-24 year olds who do not drink has risen from 10% to 25% in little over a decade. Not only are more people not drinking but those who do are also drinking less units. It was hard to foresee this when walking around areas with clubs at the student end of town on pretty much any night of the week, but lockdown has certainly had an impact on alcohol consumption habits in the UK and across the world.
Despite this reduced consumption and teetotalism, new breweries are still opening and V-Brew has customers on the phone weekly, asking for advice to either set up a brewery or expand production. The future does look healthy but as drinking habits change so must the industry to facilitate the changes. Like any trend, there are opportunities to be made. Whilst people are drinking less now than ever, it has also become apparent that people have become more mindful of what they are drinking. People have now more than ever become aware of their food and drink and the processes used to make them, and words like organic, craft, artisan are popping up everywhere. With this in mind and the price of a pint only ever increasing, customers want a drinking experience that’s more unique and are turning away from ‘two pints of lager and a packet of crisps’ to wanting craft and locally brewed beers or even other alternatives.
The Rise Of Alternatives
The rise of Dry January and teetotalism has increased the market share for low and no alcohol beers. This market is currently dominated by the globally dominant beer brands but, as it expands, the market is opening up for small scale producers, particularly as this market increases in size. The process behind the low alcohol content can be achieved using a number of methods, firstly by using grains that produce less fermentable sugars (usually as rice or maize) or alternatively by using different techniques which extract less in the way of fermentable sugars out of the grains at the mashing stage of the process. To be labelled as alcohol-free, UK Government law states, a drink must contain less than 0.05% alcohol. So clearly there is a large degree of freedom in which a brewery can experiement and create such alternative beers.
Lastly, not all people want low alcohol beers, some want something different and this is one of the factors driving forward kombucha, a fermented and naturally carbonated tea drink originating in the Far East. These drinks hold a number of health benefits supporting gut health and are causing something of a stir by rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, kombucha is now even available in your local Wetherspoons; who would have thought it! V-brew has been involved with kombucha makers for some years and have noticed the number of kombucha makers increase from our position in the industry, as kombucha making equipment providers.
In summary, teetotalism is another emerging trend that the modern brewer must be aware of and provides an excellent opportunity to diversify a brewery’s product range, which can only be good thing according to our previous article regarding the export market for British beer. If you would like to continue this narrative with our esteemed team, please contact us within our stated opening hours.